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Miley Cyrus Sued For Posting Paparazzi Photo of Herself to Instagram

Dua Lipa, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Katy Perry have all faced similar cases over Instagram posts of ... themselves.

Miley Cyrus is facing a copyright lawsuit over allegations that she posted an image of herself to social media, filed by the same paparazzo who sued Dua Lipa for the same thing last month.

In a complaint filed Friday in Los Angeles federal court, photographer Robert Barbera claimed that Cyrus reposted his 2020 image – a snap of her waving to onlookers as she exited a building – without a license or any sort of permission to do so.

She’s the latest superstar to be hit with that kind of bizarre-sounding lawsuit. Over the last few years, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Emily Ratajkowski, LeBron James, Katy Perry and others have all faced similar cases, accusing them of infringing copyrights by reposting images of themselves.


Barbera in particular has made a name for himself by filing such cases. He filed the earlier lawsuits against Grande and Bieber (both cases were eventually settled on confidential terms) and, earlier this summer, filed another one against Dua Lipa that’s still pending in court.

Unfortunately for Cyrus, such cases aren’t exactly meritless. While it might sound unfair to a celebrity who’s stalked by paparazzi, the copyright to a photo is almost always retained by the person who snapped it, and being featured in an image doesn’t grant someone a right to use it for free. If she actually reposted it without permission, she could be facing liability.

In his allegations, Barbera claims Cyrus has an “immense presence” on Instagram, including 169 million followers when she posted the image in February 2020. He says that means her blast of his image “crippled if not destroyed” his ability to make money by licensing it.

The case did not include a specific request for damages, but copyright law allows an accuser to seek either their “actual damages” – the money lost due to infringement – or fixed “statutory” damages, which can total as much as $150,000 per infringed work. A rep for Cyrus did not immediately return a request for comment on Monday.

Read the entire lawsuit against Miley Cyrus here: